The GL girl's guide to decluttering your closet this fall

We know how hard it can be to purge your wardrobe of old belongings, whether it's filled with old tourist sweatshirts or outdated jeans, but decluttering your closet can actually be *really* beneficial. So, what does it mean to declutter your closet? Put simply, decluttering is the process you go through when you get rid of clothes that no longer serve you. This could mean clothes that no longer fit, are uncomfortable or aren't your style anymore. If your closet is filled to the brim with clothes you *never* wear, it might be time to start decluttering.

1. Create a sorting system 


Coming up with a sorting system is the first step to having a successful, efficient clothing purge. Start by emptying your closet and sorting your items into donate, sell and alter piles. Make sure to separate your piles neatly so you don't get confused or overwhelmed during the process.

2. Don't be afraid to alter

Image @blueollis.

Have a piece that you could totally repurpose into something new? Ask a sewing-savvy parent or friend for help, and start upcycling your items. Whether you opt to cut faded jeans into cut-off shorts or turn a long tee into a crop top, there are so many ways to turn your old pieces into ones that feel brand new. For a more adventurous project, learn how to turn old fabric into scrunchies or tote bags. Remember: upcycling is just as good for the environment as it is for your wardrobe!

3. Watch some decluttering videos

Sometimes, a little bit of inspiration can go a long way. Watching closet decluttering videos can motivate you to part with items you no longer need. See if your fave fashion influencer has filmed a closet cleanout video, or binge popular videos before the big purge. ISO recommendations? We heart videos by BestDressed, Rachel Maksy, Safiya Nygaard and Hannah Elise.

4. Take your time


We get it—decluttering can be sad. It's hard to say goodbye to sentimental items or clothes that you really *want* to love. There is no *right* way to clean out your closet, so don't be afraid to take your time and feel your feelings during this process. If you want, you can start by going through pants one day and move on to dresses the next. You got this!

5. Stop romanticizing unwanted clothes


Be mindful that you don't romanticize clothes that don't suit your needs. That whimsical pink dress might look good in theory, but if you *know* it's too short IRL, it's probably time to toss it. Chances are you'll forget about it in a few months anyway—it's just fabric.

6. Give away uncomfortable items

No matter how fashion-forward they are, uncomfortable clothes are almost always a no-go. Just because something is cute, doesn't mean you should keep it—especially if it's too uncomfortable to wear all day.

7. Try a clothing swap


Clothing swaps are fantastic ways to exchange your unwanted clothes while getting something new in return. Who knows, maybe your friend will be *dying* to trade her lace-up combat boots for your vintage denim overalls.

8. Research where to donate


According to Good Housekeeping, the best places to donate in 2021 are the American Red Cross, Free the Girls, Goodwill and The Salvation Army. Make an impact in your hometown by checking out local thrift stores, homeless shelters and community clothing drives. Be sure that you wash and fold your clothes before donating, and *definitely* don't donate anything that is damaged beyond repair.

9. Be mindful of your future purchases


The best way to prevent having to declutter your closet again is by being mindful of your future purchases. It's easy to fill your shopping cart with trendy items you'll be tired of in a month, so we recommend practicing mindful shopping. When you find something you want, wait a few days before buying it. This way, you have time to decide if you *really* want it, and you'll be more likely to actually wear the items you wind up buying.

Have questions about decluttering? Send them our way on social media @girlslifemag.

GIF via GIPHY | Slider image via @blueollis | Top image via @goodwithless


by Julieanne Larick | 9/5/2021